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Friday, October 27, 2006

Cashless Society: NYC Mobile Trial

Been awhile since any updates on the mythical Mobile Cashless Society. Save for the occasional "technology, wow" stories on CNN or MSNBC trumpeting the coming Star Trek-future, I've been rather disappointed by America's slooow pace of adoption of innovations such as the Phone Wallet.

It's been three months since the MTA, Citi and Mastercard unveiled the contactless payment system in NYC.

The system has been in limited trial (presumably successfully), and now they have unveiled the next part: The NYC Mobile Trial. If you have a Citbank Mastercard with Paypass - and a Cingular account - you may be able to sign up and use your cellphone to pay your fare.

Tap your NFC (Near Field Communication) enabled mobile phone on the payment reader located on the front of the turnstiles. The contactless-enabled turnstiles will have a payment reader featuring the green subway trial symbol. These turnstiles also feature a “Turnstile. Turbostyle.” Label at about eye level and a subway trial symbol banner across the top of the turnstile.

If you're in NYC, sign up here.

AKI COMMENT: You know where I stand on this: "'bout time" and "gimme mine!". Further, the sooner that contactless merges with ubiquitous tech like phones and gadgets we already carry in our pockets, the sooner the behaviour can be adopted. Noone needs additional and separate key fob gadgets for cash, gas, tolls, etc... Now if we can only get this stuff into our clothing we'll be really fluid.

via Gothamist and ePayment News


AV said...

As Aki points out, America seems to be the laggard in adopting these new, mobile payment technologies.

The Economist reports ono the growing trend of cell-phones-as-banks in South Africa, where more than half of the adult population has no bank accounts, yet 30% of this same group have cell phones, and are putting them to good use. According to estimates, about half a million South Africans now use their cell phones as their bank account.

A new financial services firm called Wizzit is going after the unbanked market with its mobile bank services. In fact, the company has trained over 2000 unemployed people- or Wizzkids- to help get the word out and drum up business. The service provider always mobile users to send money to family, pay for goods and services, and upgrade their cellular service- all from their handset.

read the full article here:

Anonymous said...

I am part of the trial. Sadly, tt ends April 30, 2007. We have a prototype Nokia 6131 NFC phone which works very well. Aside from shocked cashiers and some slow merchant readers it is very very convenient to use since I always carry my phone with me.

The Nokia 6131 is still a prototype phone. It is currently deployed in the United States in a trial with Cingular, Citibank and MasterCard. The website link is:

It is outfitted with MasterCard’s PayPass technology. It works great. The phone allows you to turn off the NFC feature, or require a pass code before transmitting data. It has all the basic Nokia features – video, camera, text, internet (Cingular MediaNet over EDGE/GPRS). With the NFC technology it also allows you to wave your phone over poster tags and download movie trailers at the movie theatre or view video advertisements or download ringtones or songs as well as directories.

I like it so much I got out of my way to use the subway lines that accept PayPass and visit merchants who accept PayPass.

If you can’t get the trial phone, as invitation is currently closed, you can still call up your financial intuition – namely Citibank or HSBC, but you can bug Bank of America too, and ask for a card with PayPass or payment tag with PayPass. You do have to have a credit card or checking account relationship with your bank.